Many parts of the country have experienced a bad winter, with snow, ice and below-average temperatures. You might have more to do now than you would during an average spring.
How does the outside of your house look? Snow, wind and ice likely have taken their toll on your siding, painted surfaces (like window trim or shutters) and your roof and eaves. Draft up your to-do list as you find battered caulking, broken screens and driveway cracks. And how did your shrubs fare?
If you're on a budget plan, paying monthly for your fuel or electricity, there's a good chance you got a bad surprise recently when you realized that your monthly payments aren't going to cover your fuel for the year. Many folks are having to scramble to come up with the cash to pay off the balance before the next budget plan begins, likely in June. Once the fuel company determines your new monthly payment, send extra every month. If next winter is mild and it appears that you're paying ahead, contact the company in the spring and ask about not making that final payment.
If you live in snow country where the roads are plowed and spread with sand and salt, get your vehicle to the car wash as soon as it opens for the season. This is not the time for a do-it-yourself wash with the hand wand at the open-air car wash. You need the drive-through that includes an undercarriage spray wash to get all the salt off the bottom of your vehicle before rust and corrosion set it, as well as cause damage to brakes and fuel lines. Before next winter, have the undercarriage sealed. The same applies if you live near the sea: Overspray and salt in the air can damage your car if left on. Scrub and vacuum your floor mats too.
Wash winter coats, gloves and boots now, while it's easier to get the grime off. Refresh with another wash when winter comes again.
If you need to cut back on expenses to cover winter repairs, consider buying only generic store brands for one or two months. You might discover that some of those items are just as good as brand name and thereby cut your bills on a permanent basis. Consider generic for: milk, flour, cleaning products like detergent, children's cereals, juice, eggs, bread, pain relievers and allergy medicines (compare the ingredients), shampoo and soap.
And keep an eye on The Old Farmer's Almanac for next winter. It predicted this past winter quite accurately.
David Uffington regrets that he cannot personally answer reader questions, but will incorporate them into his column whenever possible. Send email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
(c) 2014 King Features Synd., Inc.